Laughter becomes ever more important when tension needs to be relieved. For many of us, it provides one of the few ways to allow us to relax for a brief period before facing what lies before us.
Whenever our family gathered in those canyons at Ima, laughter echoed, whether at the table, in the corral, or in the caves. All ages were involved and most definitely participated in unabashed laughter.
No doubt, most of you can remember being told you might have to leave the table if you didn't quit laughing while you were eating. Such a threat was all that was needed for some of us to break down completely and to leave without further notification. We might return several times before we could gain enough control so we could finish the meal.
As children, all we had to do was to look at each other, and we would be unable to stop laughing. As adults, we managed a little more self-discipline, but we sometimes had to leave the table as we did when we were kids.
You probably also remember being attacked by major cases of giggles during classes throughout your education. Several of my classmates and I can still dissolve in such fits as we recall the past. All we have to do is to begin a story, and we rarely have to finish it because we are laughing too hard.
No matter what the teachers might say, we couldn't stop those fits of giggles. We'd have to keep our eyes on the floor and hope the bell would ring before we were called down one more time.
As a teacher, I enjoyed watching those seemingly uncomfortable times because I usually wanted to join in and sometimes did so. Acutally, I tried to encourage laughter during each class in order to prove how much fun learning could be. Often, the students were unaware that they were learning rather serious information while laughter was under way. Also, I tried to encourage some levity during times of tension and also when tears were on the surface. Sadness can be put at bay for a few minutes if we can begin to smile.
I rarely hear children giggling but surely hope they still do so as much as we did. I also hope students still have fits of giggles in the classroom and that the teachers aren't afraid to show they are also human.
We really need to be able to enjoy some humor "when the world is too much with us." Both laughter and tears can see us through the most difficult times we will face.
Lynn Moncus is a Tucumcari resident and can be contacted through the Quay County Sun by calling 575-461-1952.